What is the prognosis (outlook) for patients who have cystic fibrosis (CF)?

There is no cure for CF and it cannot be prevented. However, new treatment methods help children who have CF live well into adulthood and have a better quality of life. Advances in the treatment of CF have increased the expected age of a patient’s survival, from the mid-teens in the 1970s to more than 36 years old currently.

Therapies are most helpful when CF is diagnosed early, which is why newborn screening is so important. These therapies include treating infections, helping to prevent weight loss, and being seen frequently by a CF specialist. These young patients can thus begin receiving the earliest, most up-to-date and aggressive therapy. The addition of CFTR modulator therapy at a young age seems to be very beneficial and may improve long-term health.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 06/13/2019.


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